Tech billionaire compares self to Jews under the Nazis, fears pogrom

Tech billionaire compares self to Jews under the Nazis, fears pogrom


DachauHuman remains found  after liberation at Dachau, where Jews were sent after Kristallnacht. Silicon  Valley billionaire Tom Perkins compares his situation to this. (U.S. Holocaust Memorial  Museum)

You may have thought that the entitlement culture among the high-tech elite was getting out of hand before, but it will be a long time before anything tops the ghastly outburst from venture capitalist Thomas  Perkins appearing in Friday’s Wall  Street Journal.

In a letter to the editor, Perkins, the billionaire co-founder of the Silicon  Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, writes:

“I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi  Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive  war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich.'”

He complains about negative coverage about the rich in his hometown  newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, and continues:

“I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is  outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from  the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage  over the rising real-estate prices which these ‘techno geeks’ can pay. We have,  for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one  celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a ‘snob’ despite the  millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past  decades.”

Social note: The bodice-ripping author Danielle Steel was once married to  Perkins.

Finally, Perkins evokes the most notorious pogrom of the Nazi era, the  Kristallnacht of Nov. 9, 1938: “Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its  descendent [sic] ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

Some  background about Kristallnacht: It was an organized attack on Jews and  Jewish-owned businesses; the name refers to the broken glass from their  storefronts that littered the streets of Germany and Austria in the aftermath.  Ninety-one Jews were murdered. Thirty thousand Jewish males were arrested by the  SS and Gestapo, most of them deported to Dachau, Buchenwald, and other  concentration camps. The rioters destroyed 267 synagogues; many were allowed to  burn to the ground in full view of idle firefighters.

Afterward, Nazi officials expressed sympathy — for the German insurance  companies that might have to pay for the damage.

You may already be enraged and disgusted by Perkins, but here are a few more  data points. In 2007, in connection with the publication of his memoir “Valley  Boy,” he allowed “60 Minutes” to profile him. He directed reporter Lesley  Stahl’s attention to his 298-foot boat, the Maltese Falcon, and remarked, “I  just wanted the biggest boat….Do I have an ego? Yes. Is it big? Yes.”

That same year he authored a Danielle Steel-type potboiler entitled “Sex and  the Single Zillionaire.” Was this vanity project any good? One reviewer on’s website called it “an argument in favor of book-burning.”

Perkins was cast by former Hewlett-Packard  CEO Carly  Fiorina as one of the chief villains of the boardroom fight that ended with  her ouster.

But nothing Perkins ever has done is as vulgar and disgraceful as writing this letter.

By Michael  Hiltzik.  This article was originally posted in the LATimes.

Thank you, TiA

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